Graham Eadie

Last updated

Graham Eadie
Personal information
Born (1953-11-25) 25 November 1953 (age 67)
Woy Woy, New South Wales
Playing information
Height179 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight95 kg (14 st 13 lb)
Position Fullback
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1971–83 Manly-Warringah 2377184731981
1986–89 Halifax 7429240164
Total31110087132145
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
1974–80 New South Wales 14313035
1974–79 Australia 2025016
1974–83 NSW City 6911049
Source: [1] [2]

Graham "Wombat" Eadie (born 25 November 1953), is an Australian former rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. He has been named amongst Australia's finest of the 20th century. [3] A New South Wales State of Origin and Australian international representative fullback, he played in Australia during Manly-Warringah's dominance of the NSWRFL competition during the 1970s. He won four premierships with them and his 1,917 points in first grade and 2,070 points in all grades were both records at the time of his retirement. Eadie also played in England for Halifax, winning the Challenge Cup Final of 1987 with them. He also won World Cups with Australia and collected awards such as the Rothmans Medal and Lance Todd Trophy.

Contents

Playing career

Eadie was graded by Manly-Warringah in 1971 and showed immediate promise in the lower grades that season. The following year with the retirement of long serving Manly fullback Bob Batty, he established himself as the team's first grade fullback and his powerful running style was already a serious danger to all Manly's opponents. Though not excessively tall at just under 180 cm (5'10"), Eadie's solid build of around 95 kg (15 stone) gave him abundant pace and so much strength that once he was on the move, few opposing defenders were ever able to stop him when he ran into the backline. At the same time, Eadie was an accurate line kicker and extremely safe under the high ball in an era when the "bomb" was coming into prominence.

Although he had been used as a goal kicker in some games in 1972, it was only in 1973 that Eadie became Manly's major point scorer. That year, he kicked 14 goals in a match against Penrith, and for the following three years he was the leading point scorer in the competition, reaching a high of 242 points (14 tries and 100 goals) in 1975, a club record that would not be broken until New Zealand dual international fullback Matthew Ridge scored 257 points (11 tries, 106 goals and 1 field goal) in 1995.

Eadie was selected to the Australian team for the 1973 Kangaroo tour and, after an injury to Kangaroos Captain-coach Graeme Langlands, took over as Test fullback for the final two Ashes tests against Great Britain, marking his début at Headingley in Leeds by kicking 5 goals in windy conditions. Though Langlands regained the test fullback spot in 1974, Eadie went on to be Australia's regular fullback from 1975 until he retired from representative rugby league following the experimental 1980 State of Origin match. Despite being a record point scorer for Manly, Eadie was never a prolific point scorer at Test or State representative level as Country Firsts and later Parramatta Centre Michael Cronin was generally the first choice kicker in representative sides.

In 1974, Eadie won the Rothmans Medal as Sydney rugby league's best-and-fairest player, and at the end of the controversial 1978 finals series he produced one of the finest performances ever by a fullback in the Grand Final replay, "where he single-handedly destroyed Cronulla-Sutherland by scoring a try, setting up two others for Russell Gartner and kicking three goals and a field goal". [4] Two years earlier, his accurate goal kicking under pressure won Manly the 1976 Grand Final where they scored only one try to Parramatta's two. Eadie's dominance in the '76 and '78 Grand Finals was recognised thirty years later with the awarding of retrospective Clive Churchill Medals for Man of the Match in those games.

In 1977, Eadie was Australia's first choice fullback for the 1977 World Cup and played in Australia's 13–12 win over Great Britain in the World Cup Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground. [5] [6]

Following the 1978 Grand Final, Eadie was selected to his second Kangaroo Tour. The coach of the 1978 Kangaroos was Eadie's Manly coach Frank Stanton, while the captain was his former long time Sea Eagles teammate Bob Fulton, who was at the time playing for Eastern Suburbs. Eadie played fullback in all 5 test matches on the tour with Australia defeating Great Britain 2–1 to win The Ashes, but surprisingly lost the test series to France 2–0. He also played in the non-test international against Wales at the St. Helen's Rugby Ground in Swansea with Australia winning 8–3.

Despite Manly declining in surprising fashion to miss the semi-finals for the first time in twelve years in 1979, Eadie's form remained excellent and he played in all 3 Ashes tests against a very lackluster touring Great Britain side. He then went on to play in the inaugural State of Origin game at fullback for New South Wales in 1980, [7] though he would miss the mid-season tour to New Zealand with the Australian team that year.

A major injury that forced him to miss half of the 1981 season and saw him lose his test fullback spot failed to dim his brilliance: at the end of 1982, commentators[ who? ] were noticing how he was "more involved in the game than at any stage since 1973." On his retirement from Sydney rugby league after Manly's loss to Parramatta in the 1983 Grand Final fans were left with the feeling he may still have a lot to offer the game. [8] With fellow Australian Chris Anderson as Coach, Eadie later made a comeback for English club Halifax, when he scored sixteen tries (a record for a fullback) and helped Halifax to the 1986 Club Championship. Eadie played fullback, scored a try, and was man of the match winning the Lance Todd Trophy in Halifax's 19–18 victory over St. Helens in the 1987 Challenge Cup Final during the 1986–87 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 2 May 1987, in front of 94,273 people.

In 1983 he overtook Eric Simms' record for the most points scored in an NSWRFL career (1,841); Eadie's total of 1,917 stood as the new career record until it was bettered by Mick Cronin in 1985.

Coaching career

After retirement Eadie occasionally wrote articles for such magazines as Rugby League Week and attempted to carve a career as a coach. His first attempt with Halifax was short-lived, and in 1991 he returned to Australia as coach of the Gold Coast reserve grade side.

Eadie coached The Mullumbimby Giants in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition for the 2012 season. [9]

Accolades

In 1990, Eadie was selected at fullback when the club recognised its greatest ever players until that time. Later in 2006 he was again the first choice fullback when the club selected its "Dream Team". [ citation needed ]

In February 2008, Eadie was named at #25 in the list of Australia's 100 Greatest Players (19082007) which was commissioned by the NRL and ARL to celebrate the code's centenary year in Australia. [10]

Open Rugby inaugural World XIII

The Open Rugby inaugural World XIII was revealed in June 1978, it was; Graham Eadie, John Atkinson, Steve Rogers, Jean-Marc Bourret , Green Vigo, Roger Millward, Steve Nash, Jim Mills, Keith Elwell, Steve Pitchford, Terry Randall, George Nicholls and Greg Pierce.

Family

His son, Brook Eadie, won a President's Cup premiership with the South Queensland Crushers in 1996, but plans for a top grade career were thwarted by the demise of that club due to the Super League war. Eadie still lives on the Gold Coast today, where he works as a sales representative for a local brewery.

Sources

Related Research Articles

Eric "Guru" Grothe Sr., also known by the nickname of "Guru", is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. A New South Wales and Australian representative wing, he played club football for the Parramatta Eels with whom he won four NSWRL premierships. Since retiring, Grothe has been named amongst the nation's finest footballers of the 20th century

Matthew John Ridge is a New Zealand television presenter, and a former rugby union and rugby league footballer.

Robert Fulton, also nicknamed "Bozo", was an Australian international rugby league footballer, coach and later commentator. Fulton played, coached, selected for and has commentated on the game with great success at the highest levels and has been named amongst Australia's greatest rugby league players of the 20th century. As a player Fulton won three premierships with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the 1970s, the last as captain. He represented the Australian national side on thirty-five occasions, seven times as captain. He had a long coaching career at the first grade level, taking Manly to premiership victory in 1987 and 1996. He coached the Australian national team in thirty-nine Tests. He was a New South Wales State selector and a national selector. He was a radio commentator with 2GB at the time of his death in 2021, aged 73. In 1981, he was selected as one of the initial four post-war "Immortals" of the Australian game and, in 2008, he was named in Australia's team of the century.

Kenneth John Irvine, also nicknamed "Mongo", was an Australian professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. He holds the standing Australian record for the most tries in a first-grade career – 212. No other player has yet managed 200 tries in their Australian club career, with the closest to Irvine's tally being Melbourne Storm player Billy Slater, who scored 190. He is also the 2nd all-time top try-scorer for the Australian national team with 33, two behind Darren Lockyer's 35. Irvine's great speed is legendary and he is regarded as Australia's greatest ever winger, being named in 2008 in the list of Australian rugby league's 100 greatest players, as well as being an automatic selection for the Australian Rugby League's "Team of the Century".

Ron Willey Australian RL coach and former Australia international rugby league footballer

Ronald William Willey (1929−2004) was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach. He was a representative for the Australian national side. Post-playing, Willey had a long and successful first grade and State representative coaching career.

Ian 'Shoey' Schubert is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. He later became chief salary cap auditor for the National Rugby League. An Australian international representative player, Schubert had a long club career which began with a sensational opening season for Eastern Suburbs, before fading out and re-inventing himself with Manly-Warringah and Western Suburbs so well that he regained his Australian jumper after having been in reserve grade a year prior. By the time his career closed Schubert had played 269 first grade games, which stood as the third highest in the history of the NSWRFL.

The 1983 NSWRFL season was the 76th season of professional rugby league football in Australia. Fourteen teams competed for the J J Giltinan Shield and Winfield Cup during the season, which culminated in a replay of the previous year's grand final between the Parramatta and Manly-Warringah clubs. During the season, NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1983 KB Cup.

Geoff Gerard is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. An Australia international and New South Wales State of Origin representative forward, he played his club football with Sydney clubs Parramatta, Manly Warringah and Penrith, and also spent time with English clubs Wakefield Trinity and Hull FC. From the time of his retirement in early 1989 to mid-1994 he held the record for the most career New South Wales Rugby League premiership first-grade games until overtaken by Terry Lamb. He holds the distinction of playing in the most first-grade grand finals (five) without ever winning one.

The 1976 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the 69th season of Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, Australia's first. Twelve teams, including six of 1908's foundation clubs and another six from around Sydney, competed for the J. J. Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Manly-Warringah and Parramatta clubs. NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1976 Amco Cup.

The 1978 NSWRFL season was the 71st season of the NSWRFL Premiership, Sydney's professional rugby league football competition, and Australia's first. Twelve clubs, including six of 1908's foundation teams and another six from around Sydney competed for the J.J. Giltinan Shield and WD & HO Wills Cup during the season, which culminated in a grand final between the Manly-Warringah and Cronulla-Sutherland clubs that was drawn and had to be re-played. NSWRFL teams also competed for the 1978 Amco Cup.

The history of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles dates back to 1932 when the Manly-Warringah Junior Rugby Football League was founded. In 1947 the New South Wales Rugby Football League included two additional teams: Manly-Warringah DRLFC and Parramatta DRLFC. The new club adopted the nickname "Sea Eagles" and went on to compete in every season of top-level rugby league until merging with the nearby North Sydney Bears to form the Northern Eagles club at the end of 1999. After three years the joint-venture team was disbanded with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles returning as a sole entity once more to the National Rugby League.

The 1947 New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership was the fortieth season of Sydney’s top-level rugby league competition, Australia’s first. For the first time, the number of clubs in the league reached double digits due to the admission of Manly-Warringah and Parramatta to the first grade competition. The season culminated in a grand final between the Balmain and Canterbury-Bankstown clubs.

Mike Anthony Eden is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s. The slightly built Eden played for Manly-Warringah, Eastern Suburbs, Parramatta and the Gold Coast in the NSWRL premiership. Originally appearing in the halves, he later played at fullback.

Russel Gartner, also known by the nickname of "Frog eyes", is an Australian former rugby league footballer who played in the 1970s and 1980s. An international representative three-quarter, He played for Manly, Balmain and Easts in the NSWRFL premiership.

The 1982 Kangaroo tour was the fifteenth Kangaroo tour where the Australian national rugby league team played a number of matches against British and French rugby league teams, in addition to the Test matches. The Australia national rugby league team have generally since 1908 barring wartime, toured Great Britain every four years often capping the tour with matches and Tests in France. This regular touring side are known as the Kangaroos.

The 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series was an international rugby league test series played in Australia between Australia and New Zealand. The series, which started on 3 July in Melbourne and finished on 31 July in Brisbane, consisted of three test matches, with the third test doubling as a 1989–1992 Rugby League World Cup tournament match. New Zealand did not play in any other matches while on tour.

The 1978 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France comprised the Australia national rugby league team's fourteenth tour of Great Britain and ninth tour of France, and took place from September to December 1978. Coached by Frank Stanton and captained by Bob Fulton, the Australian team, also known as the Kangaroos, played a match against Wales before contesting the Ashes series against Great Britain, winning the third and deciding Test match. The tourists then moved on to France where they were narrowly beaten in both Tests, the last series the Kangaroos would lose until 2005. In addition to these six internationals, the Australians played sixteen other matches against local club and representative sides in both countries. The 1978 Kangaroo tour followed the tour of 1973 while the next tour would be staged in 1982.

Robert W. "Bob" Batty was an Australian rugby league footballer who played in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. A prolific goal kicking Fullback, Batty played his entire career with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership.

The 1976 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles season was the 30th in the club's history since their entry into the then New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership in 1947.

The 1978 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles season was the 32nd in the club's history since their entry into the then New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership in 1947.

References

  1. Rugby League Project
  2. 100 Greatest Players
  3. Century's Top 100 Players Archived 25 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Whiticker, Alan and Hudson, Glen; The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players (1998, 3rd Ed) Gary Allen Pty. Ltd
  5. 1977 Rugby League World Cup Final
  6. 1977 Rugby League World Cup Final highlights
  7. 1980 State of Origin game
  8. Whiticker, Alan and Hudson, Glen; The Encyclopedia of Rugby League Players (1998, 3rd Ed) Gary Allen Pty. Ltd
  9. Teams ready for battle Northern Star, 15 February 2012
  10. "Centenary of Rugby League - The Players". NRL & ARL . 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
Preceded by
Eric Simms (1973)
Record-holder
Most points in an NSWRFL career [1]

1983 (1,843) - 1985 (1,917)
Succeeded by
Mick Cronin (1985)
  1. Heads, Ian and Middleton, David (2008) A Centenary of Rugby League, MacMillan Sydney